Concordia cuts baseball, softball

Published 9:18 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Raul Fernandez (5) makes contact with a pitch during the first game of Concordia College's 3-2 loss to Wallace Community College at Bloch Park last season. -- File photo

There will be no boys or girls of summer next year at Concordia College.

Following the school’s annual performance review in June, the decision was made to eliminate the baseball and softball programs for at least one year.

According to Dr. Stanford Angion, vice president for student services at Concordia College, the decision was made due to restructuring of programs.

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“All of our programs are going under review for the restructuring and realignment process,” Angion said. “We are trying to get them all in line with the college’s vision of the future both athletically and academically. It’s (the review) a way of looking at ourselves and seeing what we can do to make the college better.”

The decision to cut the programs was one of both strategy and results, Angion said.

Even though the baseball team had a successful season, the softball team finished just 2-24 in its second complete year.

“When you look at programs, you also look at results,” Angion said. “The baseball and softball teams haven’t enjoyed the success that you would hope they would have. You need the program that is effective.”

Angion said the coaches and administration have all been notified of the decision.

The softball coach, Curtis Wimberly, was notified personally, but the baseball coach, Steven Washington, had already decided to retire following the past season.

Concordia’s Athletics Director Shepherd Skanes said all of the athletic programs were evaluated during the process.

“Myself and the administrators sat down to access what programs were living up to the expectations of outcomes that I had come up with,” Skanes said. “The baseball and softball teams weren’t living up to those outcomes.”

Skanes said the players affected, about 15 players from each team, were in the process of being contacted with the option of continuing their education with their scholarships honored.

“We made the decision that we will honor their scholarships,” Skanes said. “We understand there may be cases where players will want to move on, but if they choose to come back to Concordia, we will honor their scholarships.”

Skanes said Title IX was not a factor in the process of the decision process.

“We are trading off two spring sports, both the guys and the girls,” Skanes said. “Title IX didn’t have any affect on our decision at all.”

While finances were a part of the process, according to Angion, they were not the whole reason.

“It’s a whole process,” Angion said. “Finances are, of course, a part of the process, but it’s not the reason. We have objectives that we set for each programs, expectations, and the administration didn’t feel like those expectations were met.”

The amount the school will save on the decision is unclear Angion said.

“Obviously, anytime you don’t have something you had the previous year, there will be savings,” Angion said. “But I am not in a position that I could give the exact savings.”